About 3,000 SMEs want soft loan to cushion higher minimum wage

According to the Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP), over 3,000 small and medium sized businesses have requested that the government provide them with low interest loans in order to cushion the impact of the 300-baht-daily wage policy which has been pushed forward by the government since the beginning of 2013. Several academic reports points to Thai SMEs being hit hard by the higher minimum wage, yet many said the higher wage will force Thai SMEs to move up, the ladder of production into higher margin quality goods. China and Mayanmar, are also fast emerging as attractive markets and bases to Thai SMEs. DIP Director-General Sophon Pholprasit said over 3,000 SMEs are facing liquidity problem as they have to comply with the new wage policy. As a result, the SME segment is asking the government to provide loans with low interest. In response to the request, the Director-General said his department will seek cooperation from the SME Bank to allocate 7.5 billion baht in loan to the Thai SMEs. He further said that the DIP will help the SME segment improve their business potential and also seek new markets for them. He also mentioned about the current situation of the strong baht, saying there are both SMEs who have been affected by the baht appreciation and those who benefit from it. The latter group includes those who are importing machinery and raw materials at lower prices (Source).

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